A Birthday Tribute – 42 Reasons We Love Gerry Butler

The sexy Scot Gerry Butler turns 42 today!

This is my third birthday tribute for the actor… well, since he stole my heart back in December 2004, this marked the 6th year of me crushing over him, ahah. As I told you in my Case of Being Spellbound post the other day, I’m fiercely loyal when it comes to certain crushes, and Gerry managed to keep my interest despite some questionable movie choices. Let’s be fair, folks, what actor hasn’t made a bad move in their entire career, right? So no, I’m definitely not gonna hold it against him for doing The Ugly Truth, he’s redeemed himself in other performances since, and I’m looking forward to his upcoming roles in Shakespearean thriller Coriolanus, soccer comedy Playing the Field and surfer biopic Of Men and Mavericks.

So anyway, as I did with the Rufus Sewell b’day post, I’ve asked Becky, my partner in crime when it comes to cinematic crushes to come up with half of the reasons… so here’s the list starting with hers until #21:

1. OK, let’s face facts. He’s tall, dark, handsome and oozing with sex appeal. ‘Nuf said.

2. He makes an intimidating and ruthless character simmering and sensual as The Phantom of the Opera (2004).

3. And on top of that, he has a deep, resounding singing voice to boot.

4. He’s very friendly and generous with autographs and pictures for his fans, but to the paparazzi, not so much.

5. Because he’s bared his lovely bum three (official) times: His first film, Her Majesty, Mrs. Brown (1997), 300 (2006) and Law Abiding Citizen (2009). There’s also quite an infamous “unofficial” occasion too, but it shall remain unnamed. (Hint: it starts with a G) 😀

6. He can be a total goofball, especially anywhere near the vicinity of fellow Scot and late night talk show host, Craig Ferguson.

7. Talk about versatile. He’s played a brother to a confidant of Queen Victoria, Dracula, a young, out-of-work, scheming cad, Attila the Hun, a lonely alcoholic juror who finds love in the wrong place, a time traveling archaeologist, a temporary father to a young deaf boy, Beowulf, a Spartan king, a very loving, charming husband who dies much too soon, an amateur gangster, the voice of a father to an animated boy who ends up taming dragons, a reformed drug addict turned preacher, who in turn gives back life and hope to impoverished children in Africa, a soccer coach, a surfing coach, and a lot more. Whew!

8. Is he an actor, or is he a model? Hard to tell sometimes especially when you see some his (sizzling ;)) photo shoots.

9. Because he performs the most touching, evocative song ever: No One Would Listen. It was shamelessly, and erroneously cut from Phantom of the Opera.

10. He is a real-life hero. He once saved a young boy from drowning in the River Tay in Scotland while filming Mrs. Brown, and received a Certificate of Bravery from the Royale Humane Society.

11. He is the only man I’ve ever seen doing pull ups in a muscle shirt (oh yeah!) UPSIDE DOWN from the bars ON TOP of his jail cell in Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life. How’s that for macho?!

12. He has steely, but playful green/gray eyes.

13. Because I really believe his performance and being a producer of Machine Gun Preacher will create awareness of the terrible conditions in Sudan, and many, many people who otherwise wouldn’t will be moved, provoked to help; his hopes are high.

14. He played two characters in the wonderful children’s film Nim’s Island: the caring father and the action hero.

15. He readily admits he can shed a tear, sometimes a little too easily.

16. He doesn’t take himself too seriously.

17. He won the role of Phantom over Hollywood heavyweights Antonio Banderas and John Travolta. Impressive! (Oh, no, there I go, the Phantom, again!)

18. He quit drinking AND smoking.

19. He has one of the most memorable kisses ever in Dear Frankie.20. He did many of his own stunts in 300.

21. He’s one of two of the most famous and best actors ever to come out of Scotland (of course, Sean Connery is the other one) 😀

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22. Looks is one thing, but screen presence is everything for an actor, and Gerry has both in spades. He’s one of those actor that’s quite challenging to ‘steal’ scenes from.

23. He’s so ridiculously entertaining in interviews, there are too many memorable ones to mention, but this Phantom interview by Japanese TV still takes the cake. It’s such a hoot to watch him indulging the fawning female interviewer with her dream of doing a duet with him:


Another memorable interview is this one with Canadian’s Tribute magazine where he unknowingly serenaded Bonnie the interviewer. Lucky gal!


24. I like an actor with a deprecating sense of humor. Gerry definitely has that as he didn’t mind poking fun at himself during his SNL hosting stint. The Beauty & The Beast skit is my favorite!

25. I have no shame in admitting I adore P.S. I Love You. Gerry playing Gerry, the dead husband who helped his wife with her grief is precious and really gets my heart aflutter. He’s so believably goofy but loving, and there are tons of memorable scenes (i.e. the Karaoke scene) in it that lets him relish on his gregarious side.

26. He always mix things up in his career, playing a different character from one movie to the next. People always just remember him in the rom-coms, but he’s played a variety of different roles post 300. A family man-turned-vigilante in Law Abiding Citizen, a dual role of scientist dad/Indiana Jones-y adventurer Nim’s Island, and a futuristic prisoner in Gamer, just to name a few.

27. I like the fact that he doesn’t seem like a vain actor when it comes to his physique. Post 300, everyone expected him to still have his ridiculous 12-pack abs, but he didn’t mind looking a bit pudgy in Nim’s Island, which makes me love him more!

28. It’s a shame this film went straight to DVD, but Shattered is actually a pretty decent thriller with a twist. Butler outshone Pierce Brosnan as the baddie, though it’s a bit hard to believe that him with his still buff physique won’t just take Brosnan out in some of the scenes. Watch the trailer below

29. I love Butler’s strength as King Leonidas, as well as his tender scenes with his wife Queen Gorgo.

30. In the October issue of L.A. Confidential magazine, the cover article says ‘Hollywood’s Last Bad Boy’ and he’s certainly got that swagger and untamed persona both on and off screen.

31. In that same magazine, he’s quoted in saying … “That’s the most exciting thing for me as an actor: Nobody can ever define you. They go, ‘Oh, he’s the action guy.’ ‘Oh, he’s the comedy guy.’ I’m not any of those things, and I never want to be categorized like that. People shouldn’t know what to expect from me.” I totally agree and his versatility is part of what I like most about him.

32. It’s all about the eyes… and his piercing greenish-gray pair are so hypnotically expressive.

33. Oh, and don’t forget the hair… he’s one of those rare actors who look fantastic in any kind of haircut… from a buzz cut in Lara Croft II to the shaggy long mane as a Mongolian in Attila. I’m lovin’ his long-ish style he’s sporting now for a role as a surfing instructor in Curtis Hanson’s upcoming movie.

The many faces... and hairstyles of Gerry Butler

34. Intelligence is sexy. His wit is evident in every interview he’s done. He’s got a law degree at Glasgow University and even served as President of Law Society, but yet he followed his heart to be an actor.

35. I read somewhere that he ‘…connect[s] with people who have a lot of pain…’ It’s that tortured-soul quality in some of the roles he’s played (The Phantom, Sam Childers in Machine Gun Preacher) that gets me every time.

36. I love the fact that he’s not ‘perfect’ looking nor too well-groomed. This Telegraph interviewer described him perfectly “…his face has a bruised, lived-in quality. There are laughter lines around his eyes and, with his beard and curly ringlets, he’s just starting to grey at the temples.” 

37. A guy who loves his mom is always a major plus in my book. Despite his success and being away from home, he’s still close to his mother Margaret.

38. His sense of adventure is admirable. He’s always game to try something different for a role or as a hobby… he recently took up surfing and told Craig Ferguson on his Late, Late Show that he’s been learning to fly a helicopter.

39. His comic timing is as great to watch as his action stuff, i.e. as One-Two Rocknrolla.

40. A sexy man looks and sounds good… he’s certainly got both with his irresistible Scottish brogue [sigh]

41. I respect an actor who’s dedicated to his craft and is dedicated to every role he plays. Butler’s willingness to take a massive pay cut to do Machine Gun Preacher and his killer training for 300 proves that he’s suffered for his art.

42. And lastly… he’s got that slightly crooked smile that can light up a room!

I’ll always be thankful to him that he didn’t push me away when I abruptly grabbed his hand back at TIFF 2005. Come to think of it, some actors might not be as gracious. And what’s more, he even remembered me when I saw him outside Elgin Theater and was kind enough to sign my picture!


So please join me in wishing the great Scot a happy birthday… and do share what’s your favorite Gerard Butler role.

Happy 40th Birthday Ewan McGregor!

One of my favorite Scottish actors Ewan McGregor turns 40 today! Boy, he still looks so youthful. He certainly ages well and is still busier than ever!

I’ve only seen about a dozen of his work, which sounds like a lot but it’s only a quarter of the number of films he’s churned out. Ewan (his first name is pronounced “you-an”) is a hugely prolific actor. In the last decade alone, from 2000 – 2010, he’s starred in no less than twenty five films (and that’s not counting voice work in animated feature like ROBOTS).

Ewan with his motorcycle expedition partner Charley Boorman

It’s amazing how this married father of three finds the time to do those and still have the energy to embarked on a motorcycle trip around the world, chronicled in a documentary titled Long Way Down.

He consistently churn out good performances even if the movies aren’t necessarily good (i.e. The Island, Cassandra’s Dream). Yet given his versatility, I’d say he’s quite under-appreciated. I mean, some of the roles he’s played run the run the gamut from heroin addict (Trainspotting), glam rock star (Velvet Goldmine), lovesick writer (Moulin Rogue!), a Jedi Master (Star Wars episode I-III), all the way to a Catholic Cardinal. At least two of those (Renton and Obi-Wan Kenobi) are such iconic roles most people would perhaps remember him from.

Ewan as the penniless writer in Moulin Rouge!

My number one favorite of all his roles has got to be Christian in Moulin Rogue! where he sang up a storm with his gorgeous voice. He’s on the top of the list of actors who are surprisingly good singers… he’s so good that I wish he’d just produce an album already!

He’s never looked so good and romantic in a movie! I think his performance is as strong as Nicole Kidman’s but for whatever reason he didn’t win a Golden Globe while Nicole won for Best Actress. The Academy also failed to nominate him alongside Nicole that year, though I certainly think his performance was Oscar-worthy. Anyway, here’s one of my favorite scene in the movie where Christian sang ‘Your Song’ to Satine with his mesmerizing performance.

Apparently he auditioned for the role of Mercutio in the 1996 Baz Luhrmann’s modernized Shakespeare version of Romeo + Juliet, but the role went to Leonardo DiCaprio instead. That’s not the only time he’s lost out to Leo for a role. According to IMDb trivia, he was originally up for the lead role in The Beach (2000), which would have reunited him with director Danny Boyle and screenwriter John Hodge who collaborated with McGregor on three movies, Shallow Grave (1994), Trainspotting (1996) and A Life Less Ordinary (1997). But the role went to Leo again. While McGregor blames studio influence for the casting decision he has not spoken to either Boyle nor Hodge since.

He’s got a few new movies in the works and to be released this year, including a rumored role in Jack the Giant Killer. But the one I’m looking forward to is Haywire, a Steven Soderbergh action thriller out this August with Michael Fassbender as his co-star. I better add that to the my Most Anticipated 2011 Movies list!

So here’s wishing Mr. McGregor a wonderful birthday and hope he spends it doing what he loves most.


Surely you’ve seen at least one of his movies. Please share your favorite Ewan McGregor’s role.

Is Kevin McKidd Gerard Butler No.2?

Well, the fellow Scot himself said so.

According to the NY Post, Kevin McKidd, who’s currently sporting an American accent as Dr. Hunt in Grey’s Anatomy, has two of his most beloved projects being made into a feature film. One of them is a big screen incarnation of the video game franchise Call Of Duty Modern Warfare 2, which he already lent a voice for as Captain “Soap” MacTavish.

“They were looking for a rough, Scottish actor in Hollywood they probably couldn’t get Gerard Butler, so they got the No. 2 Gerard Butler, me. I had no idea it would be so huge, and now there are talks of a feature film,” he revealed to PopWrap. Then came the kicker, when asked if he would be bringing Soap to life in the movie, he said, “if the script is good, and Gerard isn’t available [laughs], then absolutely.”

Well, they’re both Scottish and look good in a Roman/Spartan costume, but I don’t think he resembles Butler much physically. In fact, they couldn’t be more different IMO. In any case, I sure hope GB would never consider doing another video-game related flix, so Kevin, I hope you get the role! =)

His other project is the more likely one I’d go see. I love his performance as Lucius Vorenus in HBO’s Rome, as well as Ray Stevenson’s as Pullo, and I think it would work as a movie if they do it right. Here’s what Kevin said about that project, “There is a script that is being shopped and it’s supposedly very good, I haven’t seen it, but I am definitely going to be a part of the movie,” Kevin told PopWrap. He then went on to say that his character, soldier/politician Lucius Vorenus, is not dead despite what happened in the show. “He very much alive, so that should be a fun story to tell.”

Back in March, MovieWeb nabbed an exclusive interview with Ray Stevenson as he was promoting his Punisher movie and confirmed that the project is indeed happening. The Irish actor himself is keen on reprising his ferocious Roman legionary role, “I can’t wait to dust off the cobwebs of old Pullo. The guy is going to come in with a high body count. I love Pullo. I love him to pieces. I had such a great time playing him. And I got to do it in Italy and Rome. He is very special to me. He is a very special part of my history. I was very blessed to get that part.” Hey, I love him too, Mr. Stevenson!

Hmmm, I wonder which story the movie would expand on. But as long as Lucius and Pullo are still the central characters, I’d surely be watching!

Happy 40th Birthday, Gerry Butler!

Happy birthday to my favorite Scot! The big 4-0, woo hoo, what a milestone! Oh, where do I begin? I’ve liked you for so long and there’s so much to say. Yet when it comes down to it, words fail me. Well, I’m going to try anyway, so here’s my tribute, straight from the heart.

It was December 2004 when I first laid eyes on you — though I probably have seen you before but didn’t realize who you were — when you showed up with half of your face covered in the titular white mask as the Phantom. You infused the quintessentially ‘ugly’ figure with such sultriness and magnetism, seducing not only Christine but also every female audience member in theaters across the world. Countless interviews/talk show appearances later, your charming personality truly got me hooked. Hollywood’s full of hunky actors, but none has mesmerized me on and off screen the way you do and the more. Your interviews are always a hoot, peppered with your wicked sense of humor and such refreshing openness that’s so fun to watch. Looks, talent, intelligence, sense of humor, you’ve got it all, Gerry. But yet, you’re by no means a ‘perfect’ guy nor do you ever claim to be, and that real-ness is what I love most about you. The more I learn about you, the more I realize that you’re much, much more than a pretty face or a hard body.

Gerry_Phantom
The Phantom takes Christine to his lair ... the moment I went 'who's THAT guy?'

You inspire me by pursuing your desire for acting with such passion and tenacity, even risking your law career you’ve worked so hard for. But you are made to perform with such chameleon-like flair to believably portray all kinds of diverse roles, and I’m sure glad you haven’t stopped mixing things up. It’s been fun following your career, you’ve certainly come a long way, though I wish you hadn’t been such a tabloid fodder with your increasing fame. Much congrats for realizing your dreams, and for venturing into new territory as a producer with Evil Twins. Here’s wishing for more dreams come true for you and more great acting projects in store (please, please, please do the Burns biopic!) I know I will always enjoy watching you on-screen for years to come.

Well, those who know me well are aware I’ve been writing my first ‘chick lit’ for the few years. I started writing it shortly after my chance ‘encounter’ with Gerry at TIFF — an experience I will always remember fondly and bring a gleeful smile to my face. It’s been left in the back burner as my blog took a life of its own, but I may pick it up again in the future. Well, as a tribute to him and fellow Gerry’s fans, I finally muster up the courage to share an excerpt from my work-in-progress Whirlwind novel. What a coincidence that he’s soon going back to his roots in Coriolanus soon, as the chapter involves the Shakespearean play where my main character Eric Sheridan is playing the title role. My story’s protagonist is Maggie Davies, a Chicago journalist and aspiring writer, who gets embroiled in an unexpected romance with the budding actor, and her life is never the same again. This chapter is where she, along with her BFF Max, meets Eric for the first after the play. No doubt you know whom I based the character Eric on and the significance of his name =)

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Gerard Butler joined Ralph Fiennes in Coriolanus

Woo hoo, this totally made my week! Ok, so it’s almost Friday which in and of itself is a very good thing but when I saw this on IMDb mid morning Thursday, I almost jumped out of my seat! Just yesterday I was desperately hoping for him NOT to go the graphic novel route, but actually do something small and poignant. Well, wish granted!

For GB fans, we know what CoriolayoungGBnus means to him. It’s the first acting gig he’s ever got after he was fired just one week shy of becoming a lawyer. He’s told this story numerous times in interviews, including just yesterday to Baltimore WJZ, how actor Steven Berkoff  — who later became his co-star in Attila — let him audition despite his zero acting experience. If I remember correctly, he also told Jay Leno that his performance was rather over-the-top, but he impressed Berkoff enough that he actually got the part! This pic I found on Flickr looks like a scan from the actual program from the London play, click for a larger version with his short bio.

Ain’t it cool‘s ‘Quint’ was actually on the phone with the actor himself who confirmed his involvement in Ralph Fiennes’ directing debut:

It looks like I might be doing Coriolanus, the Shakespeare play, the movie version… the adaptation of. Ralph Fiennes will be directing and playing Coriolanus, and I’d be playing Tullus Aufidius his nemesis!

Quint added this bit of info: “Of course he said “nemesis” with the evil voice on, which made it sound even more badass.” Ha! That sounds like GB all right.

Here’s a brief summary of Shakespeare’s least-produced play:
Coriolanus is a powerful political drama about a Roman general whose arrogance leads to his own destruction. Caius Martius earned the name Coriolanus when he defeated the Volscians, led by Tullus Aufidius, in the Italian city of Corioles. Coriolanus was never a man for the people, which propelled the Roman citizens — under the influence of two conniving tribunes — to drive him into exile. It’s then that he turned to his former nemesis Aufidius out of vengeance and contempt for his own people. Though they consider each other blood enemies, Coriolanus actually respected Aufidius and regarded him as equal in martial nobility (this kind of reminds me of Attila the Hun’s relationship with Roman general Flavius Aetius).

So basically, Coriolanus is like an antihero, I mean he’s obviously arrogant and treacherous, not to mention his Oedipus complex toward his manipulative mother, Volumnia. I can’t wait to see Fiennes going toe-to-toe against Butler, clad in Roman garb and bellowing Shakespeare. William Hurt and Vanessa Redgrave have been cast, and the screenplay will be penned by John Logan (Gladiator, The Last Samurai, Sweeney Todd). Wow, this is what I’m talking about, Gerry. I’m psyched to see him surround himself with such thespians! Though I may not be as harsh as this article about putting GB on movie star probation, I must admit I wasn’t too keen on his role choices of late. So this is definitely a good step in the right direction.

Gerard Butler on SNL: Fun despite some lame skits

GerrySNL1

I got an extra dose of Gerard on Saturday nite after seeing him in Law Abiding Citizen on Friday. It’s always great to see the funny side of him, but it’s extra amusing after watching him play a furious and brutal character the night before.

The show opens with The Rock Obama skit. I don’t typically watch SNL so this is the first time I’ve seen it. Not bad, but I was kind of hoping Butler would open the show and hear him say, ‘Live from New York, It’s Saturday Night!’

Here are some the highlights of his skits:
The SNL folks must think highly of Butler’s singing (and rightly so), as he’s got not one, but three skits that involves him belting out a tune. The first is part of his monologue, where he pokes fun of his ability to play shirtless tough guy (300) as well as sensitive hero like the Phantom. He proceeded to sing ‘Music of the Night’ whilst intermittently having to fight off attack from warriors and ninjas. Kristen Wiig as Christine suddenly appeared and started singing alongside him, but all of a sudden took out a knife and threatened to take his shirt off. It’s a fun skit and Butler definitely pulled it off. But you know what would really kick this up a notch? If she had somehow managed to, um, rip his shirt off … hey, why brag about it and not have anything to show for it! =)

Gerry ditched his Scottish accent as a guest on the Randy & Greg the alien, but Bill Hader absolutely stole the show with his hilarious extraterrestrial antics. The last part when Butler started playing with his tail had me in stitches!

My favorite skit is probably the Beauty and the Beast, where Butler sang again — and sounded pretty darn good — in the Beast costume. It’s quite hilarious as the Beast actually thought Belle is the one who’ll be transformed when the curse is broken. And the bits about the ‘big @$$es’ are hilarious, it played on Butler’s ladies man reputation somewhat and it worked.

His guest appearance on Weekend Update is not bad, though I’ve heard his Scottish brogue so often that I didn’t find it as amusing. The SNL folks seem to milk his Scottish-ness like there’s no tomorrow. Nothing wrong with that per se, but Gerry is so much more than that. But it’s nothing compared to the dreadful and extremely pointless Ad-exec skit with Wiig as his assistant Trena. I kept waiting for the punch-line on this one, but ended up wishing Butler would just punch that annoying secretary already! I’m also curious why they keep using Wiig on every skit, isn’t there any other female actresses they can use instead? Nothing against miss Wiig, but it’s kinda overkill to see her again and again.

The 300 skit is a given when you’ve got Butler as host, and it’s a hoot to see how the previously buff and perfectly sculpted actor didn’t look quite the same as he did a couple of years ago. Yet he’s still in the best shape compared with the rest of the SNL regulars though. The skit poked fun at Obama’s planned removal of the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy, which is spot-on given the movie’s arguably gay tones. I love how Butler’s got a healthy sense of humor and has no qualms about making fun of himself. Is it any wonder I adore the guy?

His funniest disguise is during the What’s Up With That? skit, with his white suit, afro and big sunglasses, it’s a hoot! He’s got that goofy dance moves and any GB fan know he likes to revel in his dorky side, which is always welcomed in my book. He’s not threatened by it, so more power to him. But what’s up with having James Franco (the REAL James Franco!) and not let him say a single word the entire time?? I’m completely puzzled by that, why bother having him there at all.

The Daveheart skit is another Scottish-related skit. He’s pretty funny but this kind of joke is wearing thin. I mean, his real-life story GB told Jay Leno a couple of years ago was a heck of a lot funnier. It’s the one where he wore a kilt for one of his siblings wedding. It was in a huge church in Scotland, and after doing a reading, he sat down with his legs far apart, completely oblivious of the fact that he had nothing on underneath… with his mother sitting right in front of him! The dude never seems to run out of crazy stories like this.

Anyhoow, here’s an idea, why not have a spoof on his Dracula 2000 role, perhaps tying that somehow with the popular Twilight series? GB makes for a seductive vampire, so it could be both funny AND sexy, how ’bout that?

Overall, it’s an entertaining show, but it could’ve been much funnier, especially when you’ve got someone like Butler who’s pretty much game for anything. I still think he’s much more amusing as himself in the talk-show circuits. All those Budweiser commercials are downright annoying, too, and kind of ironic since the host is a former alcoholic who no longer drinks.

You can watch the rest of the SNL clips here. Hope he’ll be back hosting again in the near future!

My Top 5 Favorite Gerard Butler Roles

The Many Faces of Gerard Butler
The Many Faces of Gerard Butler

This post that’s been on my draft folder for a while, but today seems as timely as ever for five reasons: IMDB featured him on its Character Spotlight section on the main page on Thursday, he was on Kimmel last Friday, his actioner flick GAMER just opened this weekend, and today EW’s PopWatch blog just posted “Is GB a lover or a fighter?” article. I’ve been a fan of Gerry — as he preferred to be called as Americans can’t pronounced Ger-ERD for the life of them — for about five years now. Some of you loyal readers know it all started when I saw The Phantom of the Opera in Winter of 2004 and was mesmerized by his performance. I became a GB groupies for a while, even going so far as planning a trip to the Toronto Film Festival in ’05 after learning he might one of the celeb lineups to promote Beowulf & Grendel. As I’ve outlined in my previous TIFF post, I ended up “meeting” him, well if you can call it that, which was the highlight of my trip.

I think it’s great that ze Butler is on people’s radar lately, even though I’d rather focus on his work instead of on the relentless gossips written about him. It’s a pity however, that I’ve decided to skip two of his latest offerings at the theater, but given that I did see Rocknrolla earlier this year and looking forward to Law Abiding Citizen next month, I’d still get my ‘Gerry fix’ by year’s end. He’s a talented and charismatic actor IMO, despite what some of you may think after you saw The Ugly Truth. But think about it, what actor is entirely immune from making bad acting choices? Even thespian like Ralph Fiennes did Maid in Manhattan with JLo for cryin’ out loud, which practically made TUT look like an Oscar contender.

Just a couple of facts: he’s done 37 movies in the last 12 years, even though he’s a late bloomer in the business having entered the industry when he was already 27. He’s got a law degree from Glasgow University, so he’s more than a pretty face and that intellect definitely comes across on and off screen. He’s what you’d call a chameleon actor, being able to ‘disappear’ into a role and look very different from film to film. When I first saw him as the Phantom, I had absolutely no idea that I’ve seen two of his previous films (as Angelina’s boy toy in Tomb Raider 2 and playing archeologist Andre Marek in Timeline). As you can see in my collage above, he’s done multiple genres of movies ranging from biopic (Attila), action (300), rom-com (P.S. I Love You), musical (Phantom), thriller (Law Abiding Citizen), drama (Dear Frankie), horror (Dracula 2000), even a kiddie flick with Abigail Breslin (Nim’s Island). That’s quite impressive for someone with no formal training whatsoever. With that said, I’m not going to sidestep the fact that when it comes to doing accents, he’s not as adept in that department as say, Christian Bale or Russell Crowe. My colleague even said the worst part about The Ugly Truth was Gerry’s horrible American accent, which was totally distracting as he simply didn’t buy his character as an American. That should be a critique any actor should take to heart and work harder at perfecting. Personally, it hasn’t bothered me to the point that I stop watching his movies, and that’s largely because he is so darn charismatic. Well hot too, obviously, but über hotness alone can only hold my interest for so long.

So without further ado, let’s get on my Top Five Gerry Butler’s Favorite Roles:

  1. Phantom (Phantom of the Opera)
    This one is obviously going to be the top of the list, being the role that won me over. Some critics trashed his singing, comparing it to Michael Crawford’s voice — the original Phantom on Broadway — which is unfair as he had no vocal training prior to doing this role. Besides, Gerry’s rock ‘n roll voice was what Andrew Llyod Webber wanted for the film and I could see why. The way he imbued each song with such genuine heart-felt emotion was beautiful and devastating to watch. In fact, he sort of ruined the stage version for me as I’d much prefer Gerry’s dazzling performance. Plus, he could swing that cape like nobody’s business, and even with a half deformed face, he was as sexy as ever.
  2. Johnnie Donne  (BBC miniseries The Jury)
    Every time people tell me he can’t act, I almost always tell them to catch a glimpse of this little-seen legal drama. Gerry played a recovering alcoholic juror who’s trying to get his life back on track in the midst of a grueling murder trial. Even early in his career, I was impressed with his intense dramatic chops. It’s all in the eyes with Gerry, and all the close-up shots throughout this series truly captured the inner struggle of his character. My favorite scene is when he learned the truth about the woman he’s in love with. I can’t watch that scene without tearing up. He made brokenness and heartbreak so utterly bewitching.
    ….
  3. King Leonidas (300)
    The world finally learns who Gerry is because of this role. It’s not one of my fave GB movies because of the genre, but the movie worked because the audience believed in him as the King. Gerry transformed himself physically which definitely helped the role, but his regal yet severe demeanor gave Leonidas that commanding presence. If you see GB in any interview or talk-show, we know he’s a gregarious and goofy guy, but there’s no trace of that in this role.
  4. The Stranger (Dear Frankie)
    This tiny gem of a movie won many festival film awards and remains one of my all-time favorites. GB’s only in it for merely 20 minutes or so, but every single scenes he’s in packs an emotional wallop. There’s probably only a page of dialog written for his character, which is why it calls for a very restrained and measured kind of acting. There’s a scene where the Stranger reacted to something Frankie’s mother Lizzie said. I can’t forget that look on his face: it was a mix of disgust, pity, anger and deep sympathy all rolled into one.
  5. Gerry (P.S. I Love You)
    GB’s new fans from 300 was flabbergasted to see his soft side right after such a bad @$$ role, but that’s exactly what I expect from him. He’s said in interviews that he shared some of the gregariousness of his ‘Gerry’ character and it shows. He plays him with such ease and is as convincing as a softie, goofy dude — complete with the shamrock-boxer-clad striptease — as he was as a tough-as-nail King of Sparta. Having to act opposite two-time Oscar winner must’ve been daunting but lots of people who’ve seen this actually thought it’s Hillary Swank who could be better cast here.

Honorable Mentions:

  • OneTwo (Rocknrolla)
  • Andre Marek (Timeline)

So to answer EW’s PopWatch question, GB can be both a fighter AND a lover. He can’t be boxed into one type of role, which I hope will always be the case. Oh GB & co., if you’re reading this, I think you’ve done enough share of rom-coms by now, how about doing BURNS or The Teacher Man? Those are definitely right up your alley!

Anyhoo, I’m looking forward to see him bring his raw intensity in Law Abiding Citizen. According to this site, the script sounds pretty solid, so it’s up to his and Jamie Foxx’s performances to make this one a classic thriller. Can’t wait!